Since my glittering debut earlier this year as a guest columnist in the Gladstone Observer, and my subsequent rise to regular Monday contributor, I have had a lot of people ask me the same question:
How much are they paying you?
The answer is: Nothing. Not a single cent. These are financially grim times folks, and the print media is doing it a bit tough at the moment, so I’m prepared to scribble for free while I improve my word thingies… skills.
And, over the past few months, I’ve learned what it’s like to have column brain fade (where a great idea for a column disappears faster than a slippery eel from your hands into the dark weeds of your mind). I’ve learned to write to a deadline… of sorts. I’ve really learned what it’s like to have your life consumed each week trying to find 500 – 600 words written in such a way as to make readers go from Ha Ha, to AhA, then back to Ha Ha again. Hopefully.
I’ve also been humbled by praise from unexpected folk. One workmate in particular has become Fan #1 (apart from my Mother!), and if you’re reading this, then, “Hello Big Stanley!” Stan informed me the other day that because of my column he now buys Mondays’ Observer, which has lifted circulation by one paper each week. While this is good news of course for the papers’ accounts, it’s not really enough for me to justify kicking in the newspaper managers’ door and demanding a hefty and immediate pay rise. For that to occur I would need approximately another couple of thousand ‘Big Stans’ to buy Mondays’ edition.
Perhaps I could talk Big Stan into buying several thousand more Monday papers.
Might be worth a shot!